Wild Alaskan Halibut Packets with Walnut, Caper, and Parsley Vinaigrette
Recipe by Sarah Copeland @edibleliving
Cooking fish in a packet—or, as the French say, en papillote—is an old yet entirely modern (read: smart!) method that still works brilliantly. It’s easy, clean, and results in nearly flawlessly cooked fish every time.
When wild halibut, a large, meaty fish that we source from Alaska, is cooked in a pan, it often gets dry on the outside before the interior is done. Roasting is fine, but it requires a careful watch. Inside a parchment packet, however, you can impart flavor and maintain moisture because the fish is steamed—in this case with bay and lemon, before being doused in a tangy, crunchy caper and walnut vinaigrette. The result: buttery fish that’s perfectly cooked through. If heat is your go-to, feel free to serve with chile oil drizzled on top.
4 (6- to 8-ounce) wild Alaskan halibut fillets
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, sliced, plus 1 lemon, juiced
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh (though dry is fine)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 cup firmly packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
½ cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
⅓ cup capers, drained
Chile oil, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper into large squares. Fold each piece in half and use scissors to cut into a heart shape. Unfold the parchment and set a halibut fillet in the center of one half of each heart. Drizzle each fillet liberally with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper, then top each fillet with a few lemon slices and a bay leaf. Fold the remaining side of the parchment over the fillet and roll or tuck in the edges to create a tight seal.
2. Place the packets on a sheet pan and bake until the halibut is just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, vinegar, parsley, walnuts, and capers.
4. Unwrap and discard the parchment. Place each fillet on a plate, drizzle some vinaigrette over the top, and serve warm, drizzled with chile oil, if desired.